Note to Reporters: A downloadable picture of Dick Monfort can be found with the news release at www.news.colostate.edu.
Dick Monfort, scion of one of the West’s most prominent cattle families, will be honored by Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences as 2012 Livestock Leader for his role as a champion of the nationwide beef industry and for high-impact philanthropy that benefits agriculture.
Monfort is owner/chairman and chief executive officer of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball franchise, and soon will enter his 16th season with the club. Before that, he worked for 25 years in the cattle industry and headed his family’s renowned beef business, Monfort of Colorado, Inc., based in Greeley, a company that helped cement Colorado’s leading role in U.S. beef-cattle feeding and meatpacking.
The Livestock Leader Award will be presented during a reception at 3 p.m. Jan. 19 at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. That day is CSU Day at the Stock Show, with several events planned for university employees, alumni and friends.
“We are extremely proud to honor Dick Monfort,” said Kevin Pond, head of CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. “He is the third member of the Monfort family to be selected for the honor, and represents the third generation of a family known for innovations that have shaped beef-cattle feeding and meatpacking in this country and internationally. Portraits of his grandfather and dad have graced our Livestock Leader wall for a number of years.”
For 26 years, the Department of Animal Sciences has recognized a Colorado leader of the livestock industry for contributions that have advanced state agriculture, its business practices, knowledge and reputation. The department conferred a similar honor, known as Stockman of the Year Award, for many years before that.
Warren Monfort, Dick Monfort’s grandfather and founder of Monfort, Inc., was honored in 1968; Ken Monfort, Dick Monfort’s father, whose work expanded the family’s feeding and packing company into an empire, was honored in 1987.
Dick Monfort took the reins as president of Monfort of Colorado and ConAgra Red Meats Co. for eight years. He became president of Monfort of Colorado, Inc., in 1987 and joined ConAgra Red Meats in 1991 as the president and CEO. He retired from ConAgra in 1995. Operations founded by the Monfort family are now owned by JBS, a multinational food-processing company.
Yet the Monfort family’s influence on agriculture continues. For instance, the CSU Department of Animal Sciences is home to the Monfort Chair in Meat Sciences, within the Center for Meat Safety and Quality.
Likewise, the family’s contributions to CSU have established the Monfort Scholars, Monfort Professors, Monfort Professors-in-Residence and the Monfort Lecture Series. These programs help CSU attract and retain outstanding students and faculty; host highly recognized global leaders; and host leaders in business and government. Monfort and the Monfort Family Foundation have contributed to numerous other educational, health and social-service programs throughout northern Colorado and statewide.
For his significant contributions to CSU, its students, faculty and staff, Dick Monfort received an honorary doctoral degree from President Tony Frank in May 2012.
“Dick Monfort’s foresight has enriched all of agriculture and our state in many ways, and we look forward to honoring him for leadership in the livestock industry,” Pond said.